Day 4: Brink sharp, Rosie talks about depth

PULLMAN — Senior starter Alex Brink was sharp on Day 4 of spring workouts. Quarterbacks coach Timm Rosenbach talked about playing time for junior Gary Rogers. And with the spring session still young, the Cougs slowed things down a bit Monday, eschewing some of the full contact stuff to focus on player and position-specific drills. Still, there were big hits and highlights aplenty.

With Brink, Rogers and sophomores Cole Morgan and Kevin Lopina, the Cougars' situation at quarterback is enviable, Rosenbach said Monday.

"We're pretty deep right now," he said, noting that the game experience of Brink and Rogers is a definite advantage.

Brink has started 28 games since 2004 and thrown for 50 TDs and more than 7,000 yards. Rogers came off the bench for several series of action in the early part of 2006, completing 18-of-31 passes for 214 yards, two INTs and two TDs.

Rosenbach said the coaching staff is aiming for the same game-plan as last year, with Brink the starter and Rogers getting opportunities off the bench.

"Yeah, we'll try to play him some," Rosenbach said. "He's got to be ready to go all the time, and he understands now the importance of that. He's prepared for that, and I think he will do a good job for us."

In discussing spring ball performances, the coach said the unit has looked good so far, and is focused on improving in all aspects of play.

"We're having a good time," he said, "I got a great group of guys to work with, and I think our players are trying to get better ... I think it's been fun."

While there was less contact Monday than on Saturday, there were several strong on-field performances.

On offense, Brink looked in mid-season form, finding numerous receivers for short and long gainers.

On the receiving end, junior Benny Ward turned in the highlight catch of the day, grabbing a Brink aerial five yards short of the end zone before getting downed by a covering Markus Dawes. The pass went for a gain of 35-40 yards.

The running game also had its moments, with Dwight Tardy turning in back-to-back 15 yard runs at one point, running behind solid blocking by the offensive line.

Tardy's performance was matched by sophomore Chris Ivory, who took a Morgan handoff up the left side of the field and chalked up a solid 10-15 yards before being pushed out of bounds.

While there was less hitting overall, there were still some big tackles. Junior linebacker Alex Hamill meted out some of the harder hits on the day, and also batted down a Morgan rope at the line early in 11-on-11 action.

Dawes also had several pass breakups on the day, including a deep ball revenge deflection on Ward, batting it away at the last second by the speedy corner.

  • Several players are sporting unique looks this spring. Kicker Loren Langley has a pronounced set of dreadlocks, while defensive end Matt Mullennix can be seen sporting an 80s-esque rocker look. Safety Christian Bass has maintained his signature look, just edging out the similarly coiffed o-lineman Vaughn Lesuma for tallest hair on the team. Although not participating in spring drills because of a foot injury, defensive tackle Fevaea'i Ahmu can be seen from a distance with the longest hair on the field. Tardy, meanwhile, has added the "most extreme Mohawk" moniker to his collection of accomplishments.

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